A few weeks ago, I talked about cloud computing. This week I will talk about Software as a Service or known as (SaaS). Software as a Service is considered as part of the cloud but there are some differences. Many people think of the term “cloud” as a virtual storage place for files and data. While that is true, SaaS takes that concept one step further and uses applications from a remote server rather than installed on an individual computer.
Let’s look at some SaaS applications that are widely used.
Google Apps – An online application which includes software where you can create and share documents including Google Docs.
Intuit – Online financial management software and tax software (Turbo Tax) online.
Microsoft Windows Live – Web versions of Microsoft Office(R) programs such a Word, Excel, and Powerpoint that can be saved on users’ Skydrives in addition to the ability to share with other Windows Live users.
SaaS is also common within the medical field. More and more doctors use online software to save, update, and share patient’s records. Some SaaS are applications are free others require an upfront payment or monthly fee. There are some advantages and disadvantages for using SaaS.
- Cost Savings – Companies save money with maintenance, upgrading, and installation of software.
- Scalability – Software licenses can be added as needed, when needed, rather than purchasing bulk licenses.
- Accessibility – A browser and Internet connection is all that is required to access the software, making software available on desktops and mobile devices.
- Upgrades – The cloud service provider deals with hardware and software issues and changes.
- Security – The number-one concern for businesses considering SaaS. Sensitive data and business processes are entrusted to a third-party service provider, making identity and access to data an issue.
- Outages – They do happen, ranging from human error, uncontrollable acts of God, or many other reasons. Any significant amount of down-time for a critical application could be disastrous.
- Data Mobility – If the service provider goes out of business or you decide to use a different SaaS vendor, an exit strategy will need to be put in place to preserve the integrity of the your information.
- Integration – Companies who use multiple SaaS applications or wish to connect hosted software with existing on premise applications, face the challenge of integration.
I hope that you found this information helpful. Please feel free to forward to others. If you would like to learn more on this topic or would like to request another topic for the future please contact me. If you missed any past newsletters or would to print a copy, please visit my website www.mdsystemsolutions.com.
Until next time…Happy Computing!!!
I have worked is various positions as a system administrator, support technician, as a help desk support, and as an IT consultant in a corporate environment. I currently run a small business where I provide computer services such as hardware configuration, installation, for residential and for medium and small businesses. You can contact me by email or visit my website at https://www.mdsystemsolutions.com.